It took us exactly ten days of swimming, hiding from passing ships, and getting lost before reaching New York. Frankly, I was so sick of the ocean that I never wanted to see it again.
We had run to Buffalo as fast as we could while keeping out of the public eye. We'd finally smelled the Cullens and followed the scent here, to a large, pale blue house that was obviously Esme's work. Now, I hesitated outside of the looming doorway. There were so many things that could have changed in the time we were gone. What if they had been caught? What if we were too late? What if...what if Jasper decided he didn't want me? I didn't think I could handle the pain of either possibility.
Bella gripped the doorknob and turned it.
The door opened to reveal a bright, open area with delicate furniture and large windows. My new home. It seemed foreign, yet deeply familiar.
Edward, sitting at his piano with Renesmee, was the first to spot us. His eyes glued to Bella, he ignored me, ran towards her, and hugged her fiercely. I didn't mind. I had my own mate to look for.
I took my time meandering through the house looking for Jasper. It seemed most of the family was out hunting-the rooms were eerily empty.
I found Jasper in the library. He wasn't reading as I had expected, but rather staring out the window solemnly. I couldn't see his face from the doorway, and I nervously wondered what his expression was.
He turned as soon as he sensed my presence. His eyes, a soft gold, lit up as his lips parted slightly. "Alice?" he whispered.
My mouth curved into a smile as I looked up at him.
He rose and slowly walked towards me until I could hear him breathing softly. "I missed you," we both said at the same time. I exploded into a fit of nervous giggles. Why was I so nervous? It was Jasper I was talking to, not a stranger.
He smiled widely and reached for my hands. When my skin met his, I instantly relaxed. His touch was gentle, but it still send pleasant shocks of electricity up my arms and down my spine. "Come on," he laughed softly. "We have all of eternity together. Right now, the rest of the family probably wants to see you as well."
Eternity. I smiled at that. "Let's go," I agreed.
Before I could react, he picked me up and ran to the living room, where the rest of the family had assembled. I fell into everyone's arms, hugging everyone tightly as emotions flooded my body.
Jasper smiled at me across the room as he felt what I did. "I love you," I mouthed to him.
He laughed a little, giddy from the flood of emotions. "Love you too."
Here was where I belonged-not with my father in Forks, not with the Volturi, but here, with the ones I loved more than the world itself. It was like every moment I'd been through had been leading up to now.
And it was all because of a dead girl's diary.